• Dec 4, 2011
We always expected that eventually the price of the Nissan Leaf would decrease as the numbers produced increased, and now there's word that Leaf prices will, ahem, fall with the arrival of the 2014 model. According to rumors being spread by Auto Express, the world's best-selling passenger car EV is to be slightly revised and will not only be cheaper two years hence, it will offer more range. How much cheaper and how much more range however, is as speculative as the veracity of the hearsay. What's more certain though, is the news that it will have a wireless charging option.

Ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan was showing off some of their future tech at the Oppama plant where its Leaf is built. Amongst the EV-related items on hand were the company's Vehicle-to-House power sharing system – which will be available in Japan next summer for the low, low price of ¥500,000 ($6,444 at today's rates) – and its long-awaited wireless charger.

The electromagnetic induction unit is said to be 80 to 90 percent efficient and able to charge at rates between 3 and 6 kWs. Just park over top the flat sending unit and the charging process automatically begins, sending electricity to the receiving unit on the underside of the car. Charging status is shown on the accompanying pedestal's screen. It is said to be arriving sometime in 2013 and will only be available from the factory, so sorry, no retrofits for earlier buyers.

Although there will likely be a price premium for cutting the cord, we expect going wireless will be an attractive option to a lot of people as it makes EV ownership that much simpler. Outdoor installations would also have to worry less about vandalism. Hit the jump for video demonstrating the soon-to-be new way to charge your Leaf.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 103 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      According to this Infiniti is the first to get inductive charging, and it is not for another year after Autoexpress says: 'Nissan is now working on inductive charging, with the first production application of the technology arriving when Nissan’s luxury arm, Infiniti, launches its new EV model in 2014. Nissan says the charging system is 80-90 percent efficient depending on how well aligned the car is to the charging area.' http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/electric/2014-infiniti-ev-to-debut-wireless-inductive-charging-system?click=pm_latest I find this more believable as they have not had a lot of time to test for a 2013 release and inductive carries a 20% cost premium over a cord, which is more easily carried on a premium car.
      Jason Allen
      • 3 Years Ago
      @DaveMart Do you know the efficiency for the type of plug Tesla will on the ModelS? Is it the same as leaf and volt in that regard? I personally would prefer plugging in if the loss of energy is much over 1% for wireless. In fact I've been dying to plug in for a couple decades, why take that away? Unless it is centered in the car it will force people to park in one direction only. I see way too many problems for me to want this tech, let alone pay a premium for it. And I want a tesla! The article didn't address this but are they gonna still sell leafs without this induction tech? I really hope so.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason Allen
        Hi Jason: I don't know about the model S, but here is the data on the Roadster: http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/006554.html 'Due to cooling and other losses in charging, filling from empty takes about 68 kWh, or 26% more than 54 kWh the battery holds. This 68 kWh is the seminal amount; it quantifies how much truly is needed. We'll reference this number to determine how far we can go from power of the sun alone.' As one of the comments shows though: 'One comment on the 26% waste-heat while charging: I've had a roadster now for about 4 months, and the amount of heat generated (both percentage-wise and in absolute terms) while charging is a strong function of how fast you charge. The worst case for waste heat is when the battery is completely recharged in ~3.5hours using the "high-power" 70A/220v connector which is wall-mounted and custom wired into your garage. The best case is with the 110v/12A connector which will only give you about 50miles of range with overnight charging. Since I only drive about 50 miles a day (and rarely on the weekends), I use the 110v on a daily basis. Much of the time, the battery cooling system doesn't even turn on ... with the 220v, it turns on before the car even starts recharging the batteries. ' Now some of these losses are going to occur in both systems, as the battery heats up, but other parts are peculiar to corded charging, heating in the wire and so on. For comparison, here is the Leaf. The original comment was somewhat garbled, but read down to EV Now's comment further on: '@SageBrush "400/509 = 78.6% of wall juice making it to the battery" My actual average works out to be about 82% - once I use higher precision on the 2 m/kwh figures. Also, keep in mind we don't know what exactly Leaf's dash measures. The 4.3 m/kwh could be right out of the battery or somewhere later ... (after inverter ?). This average has also been improving as the weather becomes milder.' http://www.plugincars.com/economy-efficiency-nissan-leaf-my-experience-after-3-months.html The bottom line is that charging losses are anyway not inconsiderable, so the whole idea that inductive charging is a grossly inefficient process compared to perfectly efficient wired charging is quite false. How you use the system is important, so you try not to usually charge too fast, and in the case of inductive charging make sure that you are well centred. I reckon that the issue can safely be left to the engineers at Tesla, Nissan, BMW and so on without users having to worry about it other than ensure that best charging practise is followed.
          JakeY
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          "The bottom line is that charging losses are anyway not inconsiderable, so the whole idea that inductive charging is a grossly inefficient process compared to perfectly efficient wired charging is quite false." The charging losses you quote there INCLUDES battery/charger losses (heat from the battery plus the actual onboard charger in the car, which has a rectifier and a step up transformer)! That's what generates most of the heat (which is why there are air/liquid cooling for batteries and huge heat sinks/fans for the onboard charger)! Inductive charging efficiency quoted at 80-90% by Nissan DOESN'T include that. If you include that also, I guarantee you the losses from inductive charging will be significantly higher. That is the very important distinction you guys are missing. The only difference between inductive charging vs conductive charging: inductive charging: wiring from EVSE to charging pad on ground - air gap - charging pad on car wired to onboard charger conductive charging: wiring from EVSE to male connector - conductive connection - female socket wired to onboard charger So basically we are comparing the losses from a conductive connection vs inductive charging with an air gap. The link lne937s gave makes it very clear the 80-90% is only talking about the air gap, not general losses on the car (see page 7). http://www.nissan-global.com/COMMON/PDF/TECHNOLOGIES/te_111013-01-06-e.pdf In the conductive case, I highly doubt the losses are much greater than the less than 1% losses you get from about 20 ft of wiring. Remember the J1772 socket is designed for 10k insertions without becoming loose. In the inductive case, to answer Jason Allen's original question, not all the losses are going to heat (the heat losses come primarily from resistive losses of current going through the coils). Most of the rest is from misalignment of the magnetic field (the efficiency can drop from 90% to 80% for this reason; and even in the ideal case of 90% the alignment is assumed to be imperfect), which I suspect mostly goes to electromagnetic radiation (think of them like a radio transmitter).
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          To quote the PDF: ""Bottom line is a three-to-six kilowatt charge with 80 percent efficiency. That's enough to completely recharge the Nissan LEAF's battery in about eight hours. So when you come home in the evening, just pull into the garage and park in more-or-Iess the right spot. In the morning, you will be recharged and ready to go."
          DarylMc
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hi DaveMart You own a Tesla? Nice. Thanks for passing on your information. How hot is the charging cord getting? The losses in it per conductor can be measured in watts if you are able to get a voltage measurement from each end of the charging cord conductor and the current flowing. A correctly sized conductor shouldn't be warming up very much and easily rectified by increasing it's size.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I am not worthy... (all of that research). Thanks for the legwork...
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Jake, This will make more sense if you own a Sonicare toothbrush, but hopefully you will get the idea, reposted from above: "But an EVSE has additional system losses. Once the AC reaches your vehicle, it has to be converted to higher voltage DC by the charger in your car. This requires a transformer (or equivalent switching circuit) to get to that voltage and rectification. What is a transformer? Two coils of wire right next to each other that create an EM field that passes from one to the other. What is an inductive charger? two coils of wire that create a focused EM field that is transferred from one to the other. The big difference is the focused EM field is travelling a further distance with an inductive charger vs. an unfocused EM field travelling a very short distance in a transformer. Basically, you greatly simplify the power supply and replace transformer losses. Think about the Sonicare toothbrush example... there is no powersupply for charging (that black box at the end of your cell phone charger). Much of the losses associated with the powersupply in a conventional charger offset the inductive charger losses. So no, EVSE charger losses are not on top of that."
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          No DaveMart does not own a Tesla, he is from Britain land of Top Gear and is not allowed. DaveMart, I would like to point out all the extra hours put on a charger by using 120v. I always use 240v as I don't want to replace my 4k dollar charger any time soon. Of course my charger only draws 13 amps when charging with 240v so not much wasted in heat as it is still a 3.3kw charger. Even a 6kw charger would not create that much heat but beyond that, yes I can see heat ensuing. Though nothing like the waste in a ICE
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Ine, many thanks for such a clear explanation.
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess marriages in the US are now safe once again. (fox news reference)
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Married couples could have arguments...who forgot to plug it in? Certainly wasn't me...besides, it was YOUR turn to plug it in.... Soon....divorce....
      russellbgeister
      • 3 Years Ago
      whats the issue alot of cars a being fitted with radar parking i can see a day when you go to you destination hop out of your car and tell it to park itself and it will and when your ready to go send it a message and it will come and get you all done with your phone.in the mean time a bank of leds on your dash could tell you haw good your signal is to the charger
      porosavuporo
      • 3 Years Ago
      >>the world's best-selling passenger car EV Um really? What are the sales numbers of MiEV vs Leaf again ?
        Domenick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @porosavuporo
        The Leaf has sold over 20,000 world-wide http://green.autoblog.com/2011/11/29/nissan-sells-20000-leafs-worldwide-10000-in-us/ The Mitsubishi i-Miev was at 16,000 globally two weeks ago.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @porosavuporo
        About 16,000 vs 18,000 worldwide, I believe, last I heard. The Leaf should pull ahead up until next April when a new Mitsubishi factory comes on line with a capacity of about 50,000 a year, perhaps in addition to the c.20,000 they have in their current factory, although they may stop production at the smaller less economic factory.
      wobrown10
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow! This is just amazing, gotta respect the Japanese automakers..
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know Neil Cavuto will be relieved, but, what is so difficult about plugging something in? Unless this defeats the size and shape of the plug (don't forget adapters!) argument, I don't see much point.
        Dave
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        I don't know if its worth the price, but I believe these are the reasons for it: 1 - You never forget to plug in or get too lazy to plug in. You may go out to run errands several times a day and you dont feel like plugging in every time you get back home. This would maximize your total range by opportunity charging every time you come home. 2 - If this is an outdoor installation exposed to the rain, it is safer than a plug in appliance. Plugs and wires wear out over time just like all moving parts.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave
          sorry, "Mark Perry" is from Nissan. I'm sure Rick Perry knows nothing about this.
          Ele Truk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave
          20% more to the car? That's over $6000, and I'm not willing to pay that much just to not have to plug in the car. 2. The J1772 plug in is extremely safe, it's not powered until plugged into the vehicle, and it has fulll GFI protection. The J1772 plug in is rated for 10,000 insertions, that's 27 years if pluggin in once per day.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave
          Ele- Charger, not car. 20% more for the charger, not the car. EVSE costs ~$700, so maybe a couple hundred bucks including installation. J1772 plug is a mechanical plug attached to a wire. People can yank on the wire. People can put gum on the connector or do other vandalism. Metal corrodes. Some people may not put the plug in properly. Some may try to pull away with the car plugged in. Some people may unplug you, etc... J1772 may be extreemely safe, but it isn't idiot-proof. ~$200 isn't a lot to pay for the additional convenience and reduction of all the other things that could possibly go wrong with a plug on a wire.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave
          20% more according to Rick Perry for the charger... a few hundred dollars would probably make it worth it to quite a few people. Compared to keyless entry, keyless ignition, remote start, power locks, power windows, power convertible tops and other convenience features that save a couple of seconds of your time each time you use them, this seems like a pretty good deal to me.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        It's true EZEE, this wireless charging will save countless seconds for people that could use the exercise both physically and mentally. Better yet it will convert more to EV when they find they don't have to lift a finger to refuel it.
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Shouldn't they put this in the front of the car? How many people like to back into their garages? How about parking spaces? It can be done, but it isn't easy. They should also put a regular plug on that so other cars can use it too.
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        Japanese people typically back in to spaces.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          Also, Nissan has a backup camera that directs you to the correct spot, so it isn't that hard.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        Well, I back into my garage. In fact, pretty much everyone I know who uses a garage backs into it. Now, my sample size is small compared to all garage-parkers, but I'm guessing so is yours. The bottom line - center it on the car so you can park either way!
      Larz Larzen
      • 3 Years Ago
      My wife would be driving up, down & over that thing. She can't center.
        jkirkebo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Larz Larzen
        And over here it would be destroyed by snow removal equipment if mounted outside...
      skierpage
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's amazing to see Nissan-Renault not just introduce and sell EVs, but quickly work to address so many issues. While other manufacturers are still showing EV urban concepts, they've built a battery factory and are completing two more; they introduced their own low-priced DC fast charger, and have lowered its price; and are now preparing to offer the inductive charging that other companies slap on their 2012 concepts as a "Gee whiz, some day" feature.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      Autoexpress: '"We are hoping to bring the cost of the batteries and electric components down to make the LEAF more affordable." As Ghosn said the other day though, savings will go to offset reductions in subsidy, so they have $7,500 of costs to sweat out before they can even think of actual price reductions to the customer, and there is no chance of them happening.
        JakeY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        The quote might not apply in the US either. The pricing in the UK is higher already. But I think Nissan would get most of their savings from assembling cars in the US and UK. What's really hurting them right now is the strong yen.
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